Shooting Soccer with the Panasonic AF100 and a Fujinon 10×4.8 ENG lens

I’ve been dialing in my ENG-ized AF100 for some time now. Recently, I added a Varavon lens support to relieve some tension from the not-so-robust Micro 4/3 mount. The Varavon works really well, and I especially like that it has a rubber strap that holds the lens down onto the post suport. This not only provides negative-G stability, but also prevents the lens from torquing the mount when I’m using the ENG hand grip.

Darren Abate shooting with a Panasonic AF100 and Fujinon ENG lens at a San Antonio Scorpions soccer game
I’ve found my new Superhero pose. Thanks to Tony Morano for the pic of me shooting the Scorpions game on July 4th.

On July 4th, I was hired by the San Antonio Scorpions professional soccer team to shoot some b-roll before and during their game against FC Edmonton. I thought this would be the perfect chance to try out the new rig. I wanted to make it as light as possible, so I elected to remove the Anton Bauer plate and battery, which powers the lens’ servo zoom, and just roll using manual zoom instead. The total package consisted of AF100 body, Fujinon 10×4.8 Super-wide ENG lens, rails, Atomos Samurai, and a Cineroid Metal HD-SDI EVF.

The client wanted 720/30p for web and broadcast use. I set the Samurai to record ProRes422 LT and it looked great. A lot of people overlook LT but it’s superb when you want to save space and you’re not going to be doing heavy color moves in post. Even though it’s “LT” it’s still a heck of a lot better than AVCHD. I recently switched to Intel X25 SSDs in the Samurai, and I couldn’t be happier with them. Fast and tough. That’s all I can ask for. I was using a Corsair SSD, and after three RMAs from failed drives, the switch to Intel was needed.

Here is a two-minute reel of raw clips from Wednesday night. These are ungraded, straight from the camera:

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

10 thoughts on “Shooting Soccer with the Panasonic AF100 and a Fujinon 10×4.8 ENG lens”

  1. Just checking in to see if you have had any success in compensating for the grain issues with your camera we spoke about earlier in the year. Have you come up with an in camera solution – I am not seeing any grain in the darks in the footage (but it is compressed heavily for web viewing). We are still running denoiser to remove it from ours.

    1. Yes, I’ve found that running the camera using the RANGE scene file from AbelCine, and then applying a good grade in post, does a heck of a lot to bring down shadow noise. I also make sure to use an external recorder (Atomos Samurai) as much as possible. I haven’t yet had to rely on an external noise app.

  2. I stumbled across your site and have a question for you. We also own an AF100 and have been using a nice 20x Fujinon lens (originally $7500 in 2004) with it. Worked great for a while until we had a weird edge focus problem with it. We use the same adaptor from the Ebay guy you mention and it appeared the adaptor set screws had loosened and there was a slight separation between the two pieces of the mount. I tightened those back down and it looks to be working again. But it’s made me skittish to use it since we lost some valuable footage (still got what we needed that day fortunately) and it frazzled my nerves.

    Wondered if you have had any issues like that? It appeared as if the edges of the image were smeared with vaseline while a circular area in the center was in perfect focus. Truly bizarre and something I have never seen in 28 years of shooting.

    We also use the same Varavon lens support as you…and somebody else does make a Y-cable by the way. I worked with the guy that makes the Jony Jib to design one. He sells it for $150 on Ebay, or you can buy direct. His email is jhuffman@jonyjib.com.

    Let me know if you’ve seen any issues using the B4 lenses on your unit. Like you I LOVE using them since I grew up shooting with pro cameras. While I also shot film some in the 80s and 90s, and we also went the DSLR route for a while, our style works better with the ENG lenses. Only drawback is lack of low-light performance.

    Thanks in advance

    1. YES! I’ve had the exact same issue on my camera with ENG lenses. What’s so confusing is the fact that it isn’t consistent. I will experiment with the adapter and let you know what I find.

      1. Wow…on the one hand that’s good to know it’s not just us…but on the other…it’s worrisome. I LOVE using the B4 lens with the camera….guess maybe I should invest in a higher grade adaptor although I cannot see paying for the one Abelcine makes…that’s just nuts for an adaptor. Tightening the loose set screws seemed to fix the problem, although I cannot be 100% sure of it…since just taking the lens and mount off and re-seating also would eliminate it at first. It would come back though after just a little bit of shooting and so far since tightening the screws it has not. The other thing now is I won’t use the 2/3″ lens without having at least a 17″ monitor available to check…so I don’t use it for any sort of run and gun shooting (which is really why I wanted to put it on there).

        One other possibility is that when we had the problem, one thing seemed to make it worse…shooting using the ND filter on 3 or 4…(outdoors) with a fairly wide open F-stop. On other pro Panasonic cameras we’ve had, they’ve all had an ND filter issue where if you used ND4, it screwed up focus because it messed up the plane of where light hit the sensor. Panasonic will deny it til the day they die, but we’ve seen 2 of their cameras (both SDX-900s where this occurred. Allegedly the wheel was plastic and was substandard, which misaligned the glass, but that’s just speculation among shooters who experienced the issue. Panasonic would acknowledge their was a problem but would never acknowledge exactly what the cause was or if it a defect or some other problem. They fixed some for free but charged others…really sucked. We just never used ND4 …and my guess is that possibly they’re using a plastic filter wheel in the AF100 too since it’s such a relatively cheap camera.

        Anyway…let me know what you find out about the issue if it differs from the loose set screw issue we found on the Cicero adaptor.

  3. I own three B4 mount lenses and an AF100 but never bothered to get the adaptor because
    of the crop factor. I heard you’d need to use your doubler and then have a very narrow
    frame of view. I noticed in your video of the soccer broll your were able to get pretty wide. My widest B4 is a 5.2, wondering how much of the lens I can get w/o vignetting? I was impressed you got that wide, any tricks or am I just unimformed about how much vignetting there really is? Thanks for any feedback!

    1. On the soccer video, I was using a Fujinon 10X4.8 Super-wide SD lens with the doubler engaged. If you have a 2/3″ lens with a 2X teleconverter (1.7X will not work; it has to be a 2X), there is no vignetting to speak of; the lens will pretty much cover edge to edge. With my 10X + doubler, the final field of view at the wide end, on the AF100, is roughly equal to a 19mm lens on a FF DSLR like a Canon 5D.

  4. Wow that’s wide! Okay guess I’ll have to get myself an adaptor!
    There’s so many on ebay, any advice on which may be best?

    Also, do you know of a good source online where I can get a configuration or info
    to power the lenses? Not sure where to start with that. Thanks again for any feedback,
    MUCH appreciated!

    1. I really like the adapters made by a guy on eBay called ciecio7. His work is top-notch and a lot of people use his adapters (he makes a ton of different ones). You can buy a Y-cable from Abel Cine or from JonyJib that will connect the lens to an AntonBauer style power tap as well as to the camera’s start/stop port so you can not only use the zoom rocker, but also use the lens’s REC button to roll video. Here’s a link to one on eBay.

      Send me a pic of your rig when it’s done! 🙂

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